Dental medicine, also called dentistry and dental science, is a division of general medicine, which includes the study, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and preventative of dental diseases, disorders, and abnormalities of the maxillofacial (face-to-face) tissues. Oral surgeons are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dental disorders. They provide services to patients of all ages. The scope of Dental medicine is quite wide and covers the entire gamut of dentistry: pediatric, periodontal, orthodontic, periodontal, neurological, pulmonary, cosmetic, reconstructive, oral surgery, pediatrics, and developmental disorders. There has been considerable progress in the area of dental medicine in the recent past, with the progress in technology and introduction of advanced techniques in the field of dentistry.
Dental care includes examination, planning, treatment, administration of anesthesia, diagnosis and treatment of disease of teeth and gum. Oral surgeon examines and treats the pulp of the teeth. Oral surgeon is the chief dental specialist who makes the surgical arrangements for cases such as wisdom tooth removal, extraction of wisdom teeth, and root canal therapy. Dental hygienist provides teeth care and advice on oral hygiene. Dental technicians preserve and organize dental records.
Dental hygienists instruct patients about the importance of proper teeth and mouth care and give classes on oral hygiene. They instruct people about how to brush teeth, how to floss and clean their mouths after meals, what foods to avoid that cause decay or gum disease, and how to get free of disease by following healthy dental care habits. They also instruct people on the proper way of caring for their teeth and mouth.
Dental assistants are medical professionals who assist dentists in various dental procedures. They prepare patients for teeth and gum exams, assist in the preparation of anesthesia, remove sutures and prepare wounds for surgery, remove decayed teeth and diagnose and treat oral diseases. Dental assistants aid dentists in detecting and treating periodontal diseases. Oral health aides give instruction concerning health and hygiene of teeth, gums and mouth.
In case of oral cancer exam, a dental x-ray technician locates and highlights abnormal growths or other abnormalities in the mouth. The technician directs relevant information to the dentist who will advise the patient on his course of action. The dentist then takes the x-ray images and analyzes them to find out if there are any suspicious spots. If the spots are present, then the dentist removes them through one of the two ways available – scalpel or laser method. In the former method, the tissues are pulled out of the jaws through tiny incisions, while the later involves making a small incision and removing the tissue through a laser tube. After determining the diagnosis of oral cancer, the dentist suggests a treatment program including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Regular toothbrush and fluoride use are another important way to prevent gum disease and other dental problems. Improper brushing techniques can result in cavities and other dental problems. A daily routine of brushing and flossing prevents tartar from building up on the teeth. Regular check-ups and cleaning help to protect the integrity of tooth enamel, preventing decay. It is also essential to follow a proper schedule of dental visits and cleanings to prevent tooth decay and other oral infections.